To succeed in business, you must be a great salesperson. Whether it’s selling a product or selling your ideas, great salespeople are the heart of business. Salespeople do not become great overnight; rather their skills are developed over time. However, the best salespeople will have the following five personality traits.


1. Empathy

Empathy is not sympathy but instead is the ability to identify with clients, to understand what they are feeling and make them feel respected. A great salesperson who shows empathy will gain trust and establish rapport with potential customers because the client will feel as if the salesperson is on their side.


2. Modesty

While some may think salespeople are pushy and ignorant, the most successful salespeople are actually modest. Modest salespeople are not only good listeners, but they also take the time to understand the client’s needs and ask “What can I do for the customer?” as opposed to “What can I sell to the customer?.”


3. Focus

Salespeople have focus because they are internally driven to accomplish goals. Successful salespeople can organize themselves and recognize what needs to be done in order to achieve their goals. The best salespeople have significant focus, and also have empathy because they can connect with the customer while keeping focused on setting goals. Finding a solution for a customer while meeting sales goals will ultimately produce the highest success.


4. Responsibility

Great salespeople do not blame others for their failures; instead, they accept full responsibility for a mistake or success. It is crucial that salespeople understand that it’s their responsibility to meet sales goals and excellent salespeople do not blame others if they do not. Instead, they work on their skill set to reach their goals.


5. Curiosity

Salespeople tend to be naturally curious, and have the want to know and learn more. Curious people ask lots of questions and can look at problems from multiple different angles. An exceptional salesperson is curious to gain more knowledge, and his inquisitiveness helps them to learn more and get better insight into the minds of the clients.


There is entirely no doubt that salespeople form an essential part of any business, no matter how big or small it may be. Of course, great salespeople have the best communication, networking, and goal oriented skills. However, the best of the best also have empathy, modesty, focus, responsibility, and curiosity.  


Ryan Krutzig is a seasoned sales and operations professional based in Minnesota. Read more of his sales blogs or check out his leadership advice!